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Italian Pavilion returns to Sea Otter expo, highlighting nation’s brands

Published April 16, 2018

Editor’s note: This article appears in the festival guide for this year’s Sea Otter Classic, which starts Thursday and runs through Sunday. Visit later this week for on-site coverage from Laguna Seca.

MONTEREY, Calif. (BRAIN) — The Italian Pavilion returns to Sea Otter for a second year. The Pavilion brings Italian brands together to show their bikes, apparel, helmets, accessories and more — all in one place. Many of the products on display here are made in Italy.

Eleven brands are exhibiting alongside the Italian Trade Agency, which promotes Italian manufacturing and design and connects brands with new business opportunities around the world. The ITA office in Los Angeles made it possible once again for these companies to make the trip to Laguna Seca. 

“We’ve always gotten so many requests from companies to do Sea Otter, and last year our office finally said yes,” said Nighisti Egziabher, marketing/promotions officer for the ITA’s Los Angeles office. “This year, I could have filled more space if I had the budget. The companies really want to be at Sea Otter. It’s not a trade show, and Italian brands are used to interacting with the consumer because in Europe it’s common to go where the consumer is. So an event like Sea Otter is really attractive.”

Vittoria (Booth 474) is returning to the Pavilion this year to show its Velar road shoe, which is new for 2018. It’s made in Italy with a microfiber upper with laser-cut nano holes for breathability, uses a Boa IP1 closure and is built on Vittoria’s new Forged Carbon Technology sole. The company said the FCT sole reduces weight by 28 percent compared with standard carbon soles, making it one of the lightest shoes on the market. The Velar is available now at Vittoria dealers in four colors for $499.99. While the company isn’t selling Velar models at Sea Otter, it has a full size run available for customers to try on and is selling some discontinued models at its booth.

Italian e-bike brand Fantic (Booths 475-482) is at Sea Otter to show two new models, including the XF1 Integra Enduro 180 full-suspension e-MTB. Designed for enduro racing, it’s built on a 180-millimeter-travel frame with a 29-inch front wheel and a a 27.5-inch wheel out back and is powered by Brose’s new Drive S motor and Fantic’s 630-watt battery. It’s available at retail now for $7,990. 

Also on display is Fantic’s carbon Passo Giau Carbon road e-bike. Weighing in at 28 pounds, the Passo Giau is powered by a Fazua Midmount motor and retails for $6,999. Size medium models are available now, with more sizes coming this summer. 

Sidi (Booth 478) is also back in the Pavilion to show its new entry-level road shoe, the Alba Carbon. It features a Millennium 4 carbon sole and Sidi’s Tecno 3 Precision ratchet closure for easier on-the-bike adjustments, and an adjustable instep closure ensures a secure custom fit. It has an external, reinforced heel cup for a superior fit and power transfer. It’s available now for $199.99 in five colors. 

Astute’s new Mud Line saddle was designed for long days on rough terrain. Astute Saddles (Booth 480) tested its new Mud Line saddle on the tough courses of the Enduro World Series. The Mud Line’s saddle construction combines all-new design templates with three international patents, using a lightweight nylon carbon shell and titanium rails. It also has specific padding and compact sizing, and Astute’s Bumper Defense System helps to protect the saddle’s premium microfiber cover. It’s available now for $189.99 in six colors. 

Suomy (Booth 479) returns to the Italian Pavilion this year and is showing off its line of cycling helmets, including Gun Wind road racing helmet, which takes its name from the company’s winning motorcycle racing helmet. Like all Suomy helmets, the Gun Wind is made in Italy. It has 25 ventilation holes in variable directions to optimize airflow. The Suomy Minimum Contact System creates a gap between the head and the helmet for maximum comfort, and it has a bi-directional adjustment system with five vertical positions and an adjustable rear fit system with five vertical and two horizontal settings. Small and medium sizes weigh in at 230 grams, and large and extra large at 250 grams. It’s available now for $224.99.

Italian travel company Tourissimo is exhibiting for the first time at Sea Otter at Booth 477. The company offers cultural, active vacations in Italy, with most of its tours done by bike. Tourissimo is promoting its Chef Bike Tours at its booth. These tours combine food and cycling, taking routes that visit significant production areas in Italy, engaging chefs and linking food and territory for riders of most cycling levels. 

Each tour includes a chef-rider from North America whose role is to facilitate the understanding of practical and cultural aspects of local gastronomy, including celebrity chefs Mary Sue Milliken and “Top Chef” season 14 winner Brooke Williamson and her husband, Nick Roberts. Upcoming tours visit Sicily, Emiglia Romagna and Piedmont. Stop by the booth to see how you can eat and ride your way through Italy with Tourissimo.

You can also see bikes from Cipollini, apparel from Alé and DMT footwear at Booths 483 and 484. Selle San Marco is displaying its saddles in Booth 473, and distributor Albabici will be showing an array of Italian parts, accessories and components at Booth 476. 




New for 2018, Vittoria’s Velar road shoe.
Topics associated with this article: Sea Otter Classic

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